26 April 2010

jury duty

Today I reported to the courthouse for my first ever jury summons! And I am on the jury. So I have to report to the courthouse every day this week. Which means I will miss some classes and Jonathan may miss a training day on Friday to stay home with the kids. Sorry this is so brief but my head is pounding and I am heading to bed.

25 April 2010

dinosaur ridge

We took the kids to Dinosaur Ridge today.

I have been wanting to go there ever since we moved to Colorado, but for some reason or other we have never gone before today. It is only about half an hour's drive away so it is pretty pathetic that we hadn't been there before. What a fun day!

Dinosaur Ridge is where the very first Stegosaurus fossils were found in 1877.

It was a bit chilly and cloudy and we were supposed to get rained on. So the kids ate their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and we waited to ride a little tour bus up the ridge.

Thank goodness we opted to take the bus! It is a very short walk up the ridge, but the tourguide explained everything to us and I think if we had just trekked up the ridge on our own we would have missed some amazing sights.

These are some Iguanodon footprints. They are from the late Jurassic period.

Here is a gigantic Diplodocus footprint. See how the layers of rock sink down where the ground gave way under the weight of the dinosaur? So incredible.

But I think my favorite part of the tour was learning about the history of the land. We saw ripples in the rock and scratches made by crocodile claws because Colorado used to be underwater.

Lion's favorite part was riding on the bus. And Blue liked this colorful dinosaur:

22 April 2010

home again, home again, jiggity jig

So technically I've been home since last week, but, hey, it takes me a while to adjust.

I didn't write in my journal about the wedding. That is because we didn't get back into our hotel room until after one am and then we had to get up to catch our taxi to Manchester airport at 5 am, so I had no time to write.

And I have no photos of the wedding day because I had Teresa's camera and was trying (unsuccessfully, I am afraid) to take photos of the day for her.

But it was a gorgeous day. Beautiful wedding. I hung out most of the day with Verity, Ben's wife. Jonathan's best man speech was a hit. We danced and danced and danced... I had a fantastic time! I cannot remember the last time I danced so much.

And we made it home late Monday night, after the kids were in bed. We just managed to get home before the volcanic ash hit the fan, so to speak. I cannot imagine. I would have missed three weeks of school! And I would have missed the children so badly, I cannot -- cannot -- imagine it.

I have been busy trying to get caught up on school. I had a big exam Tuesday and I have a paper due in my Psych class.

And Monday I enrolled Little Lion Man in preschool for the fall. I think he is very excited. He will go to the same preschool Blue went to. In fact, he will have the same teachers Blue had, which makes me happy. He and I showed up at the school Monday to register him and we had a little impromptu tour of the classrooms and the barn. I was so touched, because Blue's teachers remembered me and even asked how Blue is doing! I couldn't believe it because she was only in the class for five months and it was a year ago, but they remembered her...

Lion and I went to Target afterwards and I bought him a Bat-Man backpack. He loves it. He wears it around the house. I cannot believe how big he is getting...

16 April 2010

Lincoln - Day 7 - 9 April 2010

The following is from my journal:

Oh, crap. I've just realized I didn't send Andrea a birthday card or even a message on facebook... How does she do it? She travels all the time and always at least emails me on my birthday. I even got a "Happy Anniversary" message from her this week on facebook. I am a rotten friend.

Today Andy and Teresa got a lot of wedding preparations out of the way. She and I went out first thing this morning to run errands, and then when we came home, the boys took the cake up to the hotel. Andy carried the cake downstairs (he looked petrified he would trip) and Jonathan balanced it on his lap while Teresa and I followed with the children in her car.

We drove up to the hotel, Charlotte House, and Teresa went inside before me and then by the time I got to the door, Jonathan met me coming out. He had a nervous look on his face.

"OhmyGoddddd the cake..." I think I said, but he quickly told me the cake was fine, but Teresa was crying. I am sure it was just all of the stress of the wedding catching up with her. I have been so amazed by how cool and collected she has been all week. So Jonathan and I took Gabriella on a walk with us, to get all three of us out of the way for a while so the bride and groom could sort out all of the last minute details with the hotel.

Gabriella looked adorable! She had on purple Mary Jane shoes and the huge white sunglasses Jonathan and I gave her. She and Jonathan walked around inside the cathedral while I went into the giftshop to buy a jar of gooseberry and elderflower jam for Susan. She and Shelton told us not to buy them anything but-- hello -- they are watching the children for us for almost two weeks so we wanted to bring them something, even if it is small. We had already bought some clotted cream fudge for Shelton in a shop in Lincoln. It says "World's Greatest Grandad" on the box.

I caught up with Jonathan and Gabriella and we made our way outside. We walked around Bailgate in the sunshine and it was so funny because we bumped into Andy and Teresa's friend, Chris, the archaeologist! We thanked him for recommending the museum to us and told him how much we enjoyed it. It was just so funny that we know like 7 people in England and managed to bump into one of them!

Anyway. We walked around with Gabriella for a bit. She was looking for "ladybirds and antses" on the ground and then she spied an ice cream shop.

"That shop we passed sells ice cream," she announced.

"Oh?" I said, looking at Jonathan.

"It sells strawberry ice cream," she clarified.

"Well, then, we must get some," Jonathan said and like that we were inside the shop buying Gabriella a strawberry ice cream cone!

We found a little clearing nearby, former site of The Church of St. John Something-or-other, and I took about a million pictures of Gabriella eating her ice cream.

After we all met up again, Teresa and I came back home with Edward while the boys took Gabriella and ran some more wedding errands. Teresa tidied the house a bit and talked on the phone a lot about the wedding while I tried to keep Edward occupied. She made us all a delicious tikka masala for dinner and we had trifle for dessert.

Andy and Jonathan drove to the train station tonight to pick up Dustin's parents, Ron and Shelley. They came here and we all talked and caught up for a while until the yawning got out of control! It is so nice, though, when you like your friend's parents for them selves and not just because they are so-and-so's parents!

I am looking forward to seeing Teresa's family again tomorrow - her parents and Linsey and Ed. I feel so comfortable around them all now and I just like them so much.

Tomorrow will be busy. I need to get to sleep already! Teresa and I are running more errands in the morning and then I need to somehow get J + I all packed so Teresa can clean this room. Jonathan and I are sleeping at Ed and Linsey's tomorrow night and then at the hotel after the wedding so tonight is my last night in this house.

I cannot wait to see Blue and Lion. I will probably never stop kissing their faces when I see them.

3 more days...

15 April 2010

Lincoln - Day 4 - 6 April 2010, part 1

The following is from my journal:

Our anniversary. A most lovely day!

Yesterday was Gabriella's birthday. Teresa took her to another child's birthday party and I babysat Edward. Jonathan and Andy built a playhouse for Gabriella in the backyard.

As for my "babysitting" what I meant was I put Edward down for his nap and then I took a nap, too! Thank you, Edward!

In the afternoon, two couples Andy and Teresa know came over with their children for some barbeque and birthday cake.

Gabriella checks out her new playhouse

my attempt at our self-portrait

Jonny's attempt

Again, I was nervous to be around people I don't know. But they were all very nice. One of the men, Chris, is a real honest-to-God archaeologist. Very cool. He even wore little wire-rimmed glasses and had dark floppy hair. Perfect. He told me that we need to make sure we check out The Collection, the Lincoln museum, tomorrow. And, John, the other man, told us to eat lunch at Brown's Pie Shop. So we are planning to go to both!

Teresa and Edward

Then last night Andy and Jonathan and I walked around Bailgate, the area up at the top of the hill by the castle and cathedral.

Andy booked a table for Jonathan and I at Brown's Pie Shop for tomorrow afternoon. He walked up to the girl at the desk and asked to book a table for two. Jonathan gave her his last name when they asked for a name. And then I popped out from behind the two of them and said, "It's for the two of us" (pointing to Jonny and me) "not for the two of them" (pointing at Jonny and Andy) and the girl laughed. I think she did think they were a couple since they were dressed so nicely and they were standing so close together she hadn't seen me!

We went to two bars. The first one, The White Lion or The White Stag or The White Something-or-other, was very posh. The second one was The Magna Carta, where I got drunk the last time we were here.

So now I suppose it has become something of a tradition. At least this time I didn't start singing REO Speedwagon. Anyway, Andy and Jonathan were very kind to me, even though I'm sure I was acting like a complete idiot.

So today, our anniversary, I am afraid I am beginning the day with a hangover. Not too serious -- just a headache and insatiable thirst and an ubersensitivity to light.

Lincoln - Day 3 - 5 April 2010

The following is from my journal:

I am very drunk and I wanted to write in my journal but I thought it was in my purse downstairs and I was scared to go get it because J just killed a big spider and I didn't want to leave the room but my purse was here -- J brought it up. I need to brush my teeth.